What are the Different Types of Wooden Fence Panels?

Dan Cavallari

To make the process of fence building easier, wooden fence panels are available for purchase at many lumber yards and hardware stores. Wooden fence panels are pre-assembled panels that can be mounted to regularly spaced posts to form a complete fence. The panels are usually about 6 feet long (approximately 2 meters), and the height of the panel will vary depending on the style and the purpose of the fence. Wooden fence panels come in a variety of styles, including privacy fencing, picket fencing, trellis fencing, and horizontal board fencing. Each type of wooden fence panels serves a different purpose and gives the yard a different look.

A house with a picket fence.
A house with a picket fence.

While vinyl fence panels have become more popular for backyard and garden applications, wooden fence panels are sturdier and somewhat easier to install. vinyl fence panels are prebuilt with fittings to allow the panels to be attached to posts. If the posts are not perfectly spaced, the panels may not fit in the gap correctly, meaning vinyl panels are likely to warp, crack, or simply fall out of place. Wooden fence panels can be cut to fit the gaps, making them more versatile.

Wooden fence panels are available at many lumber yards and hardware stores.
Wooden fence panels are available at many lumber yards and hardware stores.

Wooden fence panels that are spaced — like picket fences — are effective at keeping animals either in the yard or out of it. These fence panels are usually only three to five feet high (0.91 to 1.52 meters) and are a decorative option for a yard. Other panels are closed so no gaps exist. These panels are called privacy fencing panels, and they prevent any outsider from looking in. These panels are usually about 8 feet high (2.4 meters) to prevent anyone from looking over the top of the fence. To improve the look of privacy fencing, small trellises can be added to the top of the fence, and the wood can be painted or stained to create a visually appealing aesthetic.

Trellis fencing also comes in panels. Such wooden fence panels are made of strips of wood in a criss-cross pattern, sometimes grid-like or on a diagonal. These types of fences are a decorative choice that fits in the garden or on the patio. Trellises are popular in gardens because creeping vines can easily attach themselves to the gaps in the trellis, further enhancing the aesthetic appeal. Smaller trellis panels can be stand-alone units, or they can be smaller units that mount to the top of other types of fencing.

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